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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    February 14, 2013
    1:00 - 3:59pm PST  

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have ever taken a cruise and i think in general, as terrible as these stories are, passengers expect that it's a very rare incident and will not happen to them. it's the same reason you don't really see a decline in airline sales when a plane goes down. it just doesn't happen. >> jay herring, thank you for talking to me, previously with carnival cruise lines. in the remaining 60 seconds that you and i have, chad, how is it that it's increased in speed? is it because the tug line has been replaced? >> yeah. >> yes? >> we don't know if it's the original towboat or not. we can actually see other tug it boats in front of it. >> hang on just a second. forgive me. these are the charging stations. look at all of these wires. this is what these passengers have rigged themselves in order to call us, to call their loved ones. this is how they are getting juice on their cell phones. forgive me. continue. >> i'm leaving on a carnival cruise ship next saturday. >> are you? >> and i'm still going. it's a six-day cruise.
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it cost me $365 per person. okay? at that price, stuff happens. i understand. they didn't expect this to happen no matter what you pay. but i got a tweet from carnival cruise last week that the week of february 1st was cold, remember that? they booked 187,000 people on their future cruises in one week. i think people are still going to cruise. >> to jay's point, it's bulletproof. chad myers, still seeing you tomorrow but i guess bon voyage. >> next week. >> obviously you saw victor blackwell on the boat in that safety range, 500 feet out per the coast guard so we can see this cruise roll in to mobile, covering this by air, helicopter up there for you. stay with cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. let's send it off to washington. hey, wolf. brooke, thanks very much. we're getting exclusive live
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pictures of the cruise ship, the carnival "triumph." passengers are calling in, they are sending us pictures of what they describe as revolting continues on board. their other big news as well. a key vote on the republican's he have foirts to block chuck hagel's nomination for defense secretary. that will take place this hour. and the olympic athletes that many of you know as the blade runner now stands accused of murdering his girlfriend. we have new details about the shooting. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." you're looking live at the cruise ship carnival "triumph" that's off the alabama coast 30 miles right now from the port and it's moving again after sitting dead in the water for the past few hours. the tug line being used to tow
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the ship broke. it's just been replaced. that's good news. but we no longer know how many more hours the roughly 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members will still have to hold on. passengers have been sending cnn pictures of the truly horrible conditions on board. look at the floors stained dark with raw sewage. another picture shows a bag nearly bursting with filth. another photo shows mattresses out on the deck to get away from the horrible stench. martin savidge is live in alabama. i assume family members are waiting for their loved ones? >> reporter: you're absolutely right. they are outside waiting to get any information and that's one of the problems that they have had. this is one of the family
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members. your son is on board the ship, right? >> correct. my son dusty's on board the ship. sounds like he's in good spirits, sounds like he's doing well, maybe another trip in the future. >> reporter: for mom, me a parent as well, the waiting has got to be just really weighing on you. >> tell you what, the last five days have been tough. i got a text from him on monday saying they were going to be towed to progress sew, galveston, just a waiting game. he said don't worry mom. and then with the news and the media and internet, i was finding out, oh, my god, he's just candy coating it. i was glad to hear from him at about noon today. and he sounded in good spirit.
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he said that pretty much he didn't experience too much of the horrific situation. >> reporter: he's actually said the circumstance for him was not as bad as others have said? >> no. he said their friends had a balcony. they meant a lot of time out on the balcony. their room was hot but they were able to have cold showers and stuff. the food was very limited and he said he felt really sorry for the young children and the babies. they were having more of a difficult time, he felt. >> reporter: what's your plans as soon as you see him? where's he going to go and with who? >> well, as soon as i see him, i'm going to give him the biggest hug and tell him how much i love him and that they are back safely and the first thing he wants to do is go and take a nice hot shower and get a nice hot meal. >> reporter: and that is completely understandable.
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vinetta, thank you so much. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. >> reporter: her son is on board. the families have a special area set up. there they get food and water and limited and it's only when they see that ship tied up alongside, they are going to breathe a sigh of relief. >> carnival now estimating that the "triumph "will make it to shore, make it to the port of mobile between 10:00 p.m. to midnight later tonight. that assumes no more tuglines are broken, no more glitches. they are going to be moving through the darkness, right? nighttime is not going to slow this down, based on what you're hearing? >> reporter: no. now that they are headed up the channel, no, they are committed, one would say, so to speak.
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that means they are going to get it here tonight. we have been noting that they've been bringing in lights, portable lights and clearly they are going to be illuminating this area and make it nice and bright. they are preparing as best they can. you can see the large glass and steel structure. that's the gang way that will be taking the passengers, the only one, by the way, that will -- that's how they will put it right up against the vessel when it's here, much like you see with airplanes and the gates. that brings them on the second floor of the alabama cruise terminal. it's presumed the customs has been taken care of on board the ship. they are trying to do that so they can immediately be running into the arms of the family members that have come here waiting for them or begin the process of transporting them. the logistics of that is huge. that involves airplanes, buses, and hotel rooms spread out amongst two cities. that has to be done as the ship ties up alongside. wolf? >> we are showing our viewers,
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live pictures. we have a helicopter flying overhead now. sandra endo, martin, is on board that helicopter. these are live pictures, exclusive pictures that we're showing our viewers what it's like on the upper deck of the "triumph." as you can see there, it's moving pretty slowly now that that tug line has been reattached. the carnival cruise organization is saying it's moving at a speed of about 5.4 knots, which is the equivalent of 6.2 miles per hour. i think we've established connection with sandra endo on board that helicopter. can you hear me, sandy? i'm not sure that sandra endo can hear us. we can see those pictures. sandy, if you can hear me, tell us where you are, what you're seeing. i think we have the same shot from your helicopter.
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>> yeah, wolf. if you can hear me, it's very difficult to hear you right now but we are circling on top of the "triumph." these are live pictures of what exactly is going on in the upper deck. we're seeing more people out and it looks like waiting for a helicopter right now. there are live aerial pictures. [ inaudible. more people can can see land and they are excited to see land we're also seeing a lot of people waving white towels and some of them are saying, help us. as you mentioned, wolf, you were talking about
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[ inaudible and the ship was steering to the right. >> sandy, i'm going to interrupt you for a second. we're going to try to re-establish the line. we're having a little trouble with the extraneous noise hearing you. but you're on a helicopter which obviously makes that totally understandable. there's a lot of noise inside that helicopter. these are live pictures that we're getting from that helicopter. this is the carnival "triumph" that you're seeing right now. a lot of people are outside. i assume they can't be inside too much because of the stench and filthy conditions. sanjay gupta is watching these pictures. sanjay, it sounds disgusting and a breeding ground for disease on that ship. how worried should we be about the health of these 4200 people on board the "triumph"?
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>> well, this may surprise you, wolf, but i don't think the health concerns in terms of an infectious disease standpoint is really that high. it's a collected misery i've sort of heard described but you look for the basic things, still. is there water? apparently there is. it may not be as cold as the refrigeration, in case people have certain medications that needs to be refrigerated. you remember after katrina, you know, there was this concern about infectious disease outbreaks given the unsanitary conditions at that time. we didn't see those infectious outbreaks. this may surprise people as well but when you're talking about some of the fecal material, that typically isn't what leads to people becoming sick due to infectious disease. again, this is going to surprise some people but i don't think it's that big a concern, wolf. >> we've got a picture -- and i think we can put it up on the
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screen, one of the passengers that we've established contact with on board the "triumph," ed buck, he sent us a picture with a bio hazardous waste bag that the folks have been given. there it is right there. you can see it. i assume that they've got some s sanitary conditions but when you have to worry about this, it raises all sorts of alarm bells i'm sure in my mind and a lot of our viewers' minds. >> yeah. i can completely understand that. if i had a family member on the ship, that would be a concern to look at those pictures. but the bio hazardous bag that has been used in lieu of adequate irrigation for the toilets, that's what it is being used for and obviously it causes quite a stench and it's very unsanitary sort of condition but if the specific question is, are
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these people going to more likely to become sick, the answer's probably no. we don't see that in other situations that are similar, again, after natural disasters. you worry about people sleeping close together only because if one person has an illness, it's more likely to spread to other people. overall, as miserable as it looks, as disgusting as it seems, i think the health risks are low. >> because even on an excellent cruise when everything is safe, because of the cramped quarters and so many people in a relatively small area, somebody gets sick, it spreads pretty quickly, even under the best of circumstances. >> that's right. >> these are clearly the worst of circumstances. we've reported that one mother is meeting her daughter at the dock and bringing antibiotics. here's the question a lot of people are driving to the dock right now. should they be bringing antibiotics? >> no, they don't need to do that. two reasons. really a couple reasons, primarily. one is, they do have medications, we're hearing, that are on the boat. if someone needed antibiotics because they had an infection, they may already be getting it.
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second of all, you don't want to be giving these medications prove lat clee or protect tifl. you don't want to do that. if you're giving antibiotics and they don't have an infection, that could make them sick. it can build a resis stance to antibiotics. you want to try to help the loved ones coming off the ship, i understand that, but that's just not a good idea, wolf. >> quickly while i have you, sanjay, mental health. are there mental health concerns for the 4200 people about to get off the ship? >> there could be. significant emotional trauma. the time periods where there was a lack of information are the most vulnerable. people who they don't know exactly what's happening, maybe after that fire, they are not sure if -- you know, how serious the situation is, those times they are not getting enough
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information, that can be quite painful emotionally. that can have longer term effects. children and elderly tend to be more resilient. children look to elderly people for cues in terms of how they should behave. it's important that young people are watching. wolf, these types of situations brings out the worst in people and the best in people and i've been hearing from some of the folks on the ship that people are really galvanized together giving each other a hand in trying to help each other out. that can be very empowering, wolf. >> let's not forget, 3100 passengers, 1,000 crew members, the crew members are obviously suffering as well. more than 4200 people on board this ship. and you're seeing live pictures from our helicopter that's now flying over the carnival "trium "triumph" and a lot of people out there. clearly they don't want to be inside. we're going to be getting back to you. now that the cruise ship is getting closer and closer to shore, more and more of the passengers are within cell phone
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range. their calls are coming into "the situation room." we're going to be speaking with passengers on board the "triumph." that's coming up. we're also following other major news, including a showdown right here in washington, a showdown vote to deal with a republican filibuster under way against the defense secretary nominee, chuck hagel. that vote only minutes away. ♪
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the message. we obviously know they need help. they are doing something. they want to try to be productive. they are on the highest deck of "triumph," this cruise ship that is just a couple hours away from arrival at the port there. they now say between 10:00 p.m. eastern and midnight. that's what carnival is saying. >> reporter: these images are just amazing. we first got on the scene here earlier this morning around 11:30 eastern time and we just saw a very lifeless, spiritless ship and now it seems like there's some life on the boat. it seems like passengers are excited. they are seeing land. they are seeing help all around their ship. we are circling in the sky around "triumph" right now and you can see the people sending messages to us, that human sign,
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we saw help. one passenger got on his knee, spread his arms open, waving a white towel to us, obviously signs they want to get off this ship. we're also seeing people hanging signs off the railing, help us, galveston or bust. and the conditions, you're getting an idea of what they are going through because of their actions, because of their desperation, we've seen passengers on mattresses that are on the outer decks and they were bundled up in white robes earlier this morning, just trying to stay warm. and, again, just asking for help. right now we see a more secure tug line. we mentioned before that one tug line snapped and we noticed that earlier that the ship was really veering off one direction. the tugboats were leaning another direction. now it it seems like a very secure situation as the "triumph" makes its way to the mouth of mobile port. and obviously these passengers
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are just waiting to get to the port but it's going to take many more hours until they can touch land, wolf. >> 4200 people, 4200 people. there's a news conference that carnival is now doing, sandy. let's listen in. >> from what we've learned, since we were here earlier this morning. at about 12:00 local time, the ship did begin to enter the shipping channel and proceed into the cruise tunnel here in mobile. unfortunately, at about 1:00 p.m., the lead towboat had a tow gear that broke. so we had a spare tugboat in place and we replaced that tugboat in place that had the broken tow gear with a second tugboat. we put that tugboat in position. we re-established the tow line
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and unfortunately, as we put stress and began the tow operation, that tow line snapped. so after that point in time, we had to replace that tow line so the ship did not begin progressing back into the cruise terminal until approximately 2:00 p.m. right now at about 2:30 p.m., the ship is in the entrance of the channel and as i mentioned to you this morning, our estimate based on everything that we know now, the time frame from now until the cruise terminal will be seven to ten hours. so that didn't change the time that the ship -- the navigation time that will be involved but we did lose time based on the issues that we had with the two tugboat issues. the other thing we want to point out is that this cruise ship will be, by far, the largest cruise ship that has ever docked at the port of mobile. so there's not been a ship this size. so once we pull alongside with the tow operation and with the
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ship being large, it will take us a bit of time to get the ship tied up and secured once we reach the cruise terminal. now, we're turning our attention now to once the ship is turned and docked, how can we make the process as quick and efficient and as comfortable for our guests to get ashore. as i mentioned this morning, we have 200 people here of our team standing by and a full plan in place, both here ashore as well as our ship port team working with the people aboard to facilitate as quick and as efficient a process as possible to get the people off the ship. there are some limitations. we know that up front. the ship still does not have power. we only have one functioning elevator aboard. so that will be challenging. and honestly our best estimate right now, once the ship ties up, we estimate that it will take four to five hours to complete deem bar indication of
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all of the guests. so it will take us some time but we have a good plan in place and we have a lot of people in place. we'd like to thank the customs and border patrol and protection who have been a great help to us. they actually sent their advance team aboard the ship earlier today to begin the clearing process for the ship and the clearest process for the guests. so in normal circumstances that process would have taken place inside the terminal once people debarked the ship. that is going to facilitate us getting people off the ship in a much clearer fashion. so we'd like to thank them for that. we also as you know have great coop operation from all of the officials, the city of mobile and port of mobile and they've helped us get as efficient as we can to help our guests get ashores as quickly as we can. one thing you should know, because of the way it's going to work, our guests are going to be carrying their own luggage but what we have done is station all
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of our crew, among every stairwell and there will be what we call a luggage brigade. our crew will be there to help assist bringing the luggage down as needed and it's a very efficient process to help them with their luggage. one thing that we've been asked about is how we are going to prioritize who gets off the ship and so one of the things we've certainly prioritized is anybody with special needs and children and those people will be the first to debark the ship. we did have one other situation. we had a guest aboard with a medical issue. the patient is stable but out of an abundance of precaution, we did debark that passenger. we did debark one additional guest that had a medical issue. the one thing that we've been trying to work hard on today, too, we know we have a lot of families of the guests aboard.
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so what we've done for the families here that have come to mobile to meet their -- the people that might be on this ship, we've offered them hotel rooms, day rooms, night accommodations, obviously they are getting food and service in the terminal and our guest care team has been assigned to them personally to keep them updated with the information that we know and to keep them as comfortable as possible as we wait for the ship to arrive alongside here in mobile. the other thing is, we've also mentioned a couple of different times that we've had our localized team here. we have a full team in miami handling calls. so as we've distributed information, we've provided phone numbers for family and friends to call and get information about what's going on with the ship, how's their family doing, and we've taken over 7,000 calls in miami assisting family and friends of the people aboard the ship and providing them with the much needed information that they
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need to know. at this point, we're going to continue the process today as we described it this morning. as we have additional information, we'll come back out with a briefing and provide you with factual, confirmed information that as the debar indication can and that process unfolds. so i'm prepared to take questions at this time. >> what was the emergency? how were they gotten off the ship? >> i don't have the details of the specific condition that the guest had but it was determined, as i said, out of an abundance of caution it was best to get the passenger off the ship and we were assisted by the u.s. coast guard in helping that happen. >> was it an adult or a child? >> i don't have that information. i don't have that information. >> are they hospitalized now? >> i just now that they were evacuated from the ship. but beyond that, i don't have that information. >> you said it's going to be
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about five hours once they arrive here and get everybody off the ship. is there additional that will provide service to people or are they going to remain uncomfortable for those five hours? >> well, we will not be providing much additional power to the ship. there's not a capability of doing that once the ship docks. we will not be providing much additional power but we have a lot of manpower that we will throw at it. we have assistance from both shore and ship that we can provide in getting the people off as quickly as possible. >> do you have a more specific time? >> in terms of when we expect the arrival? >> of when it will dock. >> as i said, we expect seven to ten hour transit from 2:30 p.m. >> what's the difficulty like this? >> we don't expect any particular difficulties with the tug it operators are experienced. our ship team are experienced. we don't experience any difficulties docking at night. >> what if any of the lines are
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broken? >> the ship was not at any safety ris are being. there are still other tugs in place. it was just a matter that we lost forward towing capacity. >> the families are reporting that in order to get the $500 by carnival that they have to sign some sort of waiver. >> that is absolutely untrue. there is no waiver for the guests to take advantage of the compensation we've provided. >> can you explain why. [ inaudible. >> because of the satellite communication and other communication was powered by the same systems that we had trouble with, we didn't have ou power to do that. >> are there any backup plans once they get into the channel? >> we have tugs in place. as i said, if there's another situation, the ship would not be eve that we could get on and wbe
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replacement capacity and get that towing operation going. ditional difficulties. any >> thank you so much. we need to go back. sorry. >> all right. so there you have it. the latest from terry thornton, the vice president of carnival oing on.ines updating us on he said seven to ten hours from 2:30 p.m. i guess they are talking local time, which is central time, 3:30 p.m.ster we still estimate that, assuming there are no more snags, it will arrive in the port at around -- sometime after 10:00 p.m. eastern, between then and midnight. you're looking at live pictures coming in from our helicopter that we are flying over the "triumph" right now. people are trying to send messages. they are writing on bed sheets, they are min even human letters to send out the words "help" if possible. we're going to have much more on
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this story coming up. he did say it will take four to five hours to get all of those people off this ship, four to five hours. there's only one elevator that is working on this ship. so we'll have much more coverage, including more of our exclusive pictures coming in from the "triumph." there's a vote under way on the confirmation process of chuck hagel to be the nation's next defense secretary. we're going to update you on what's going on. this is a critically important vote. you'll see what happens when we come back. ♪make just one someone happy ♪and you will be happy too. [ whirring ] [ creaking ] [ male announcer ] trophies and awards lift you up. but they can also hold you back. unless you ask, what's next? [ zapping ]
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there it is.
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it's a beautiful picture. looks like a great ship. unfortunately, not so great these last several days. the carnival "triumph" is making its way very slowly towards port barring any problems sometime around 10:30 eastern time and midnight. there's another story we're watching right now on the senate floor. i just want to update you. the nomination of chuck hagel to become the next defense secretary succeeding leon panetta. dana bash is our chief congressional reporter. what is this vote all about? >> reporter: it's to stop the filibuster and allow chuck hagel's nomination to go forward and we expect it to fail. meaning we expect the filibuster to continue. this vote is going to end momentarily. this is happening, republicans s say, because they need more time, that hagel is too controversial to push through so quickly because the armed services committee just approved
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his nomination at a committee and party line vote a couple of days ago. but democrats say, you know, basically, give me a break. they think that the republicans are trying to delay this in order to look for more information about hagel in order to effectively torpedo his nomination as defense secretary. the white house put out a full-court press from what we think is going to happening in a couple of minutes from happening. i was even told there was a compromise potentially in the works to not have this vote at all if republicans promised to just allow a vote after congressional recess next week. that would be a simple majority, 51 votes would get through. that didn't happen and so that's why we're having this vote. again, republicans say probably after the recess, after they have more time, they will vote to confirm chuck hagel. we were told that before. one thing i just want to add to this, and it's important to point out, we reported on the show last week that we counted 60 votes to confirm chuck hagel.
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and that changed. it changed in the past 48 hours primarily because some of those key senators who told us that on the republican side, john mccain included, reversed themselves. they felt a lot of pressure from fellow republicans who did want more time and they bent to that pressure. >> let me bring in gloria borger. you need 60 votes to break a filibuster. the vote is still happening right now. so they -- that means even if all 55 democrats, 53 democrats, two independents, they vote to break it, you still need five republicans and there aren't five republicans, apparently, who are willing to vote against the majority of the republicans. >> right. and as dana points out, that is the case right now. when they come back from their break, that will probably change and the white house really did go on this full-court press, both jessica yellin and i have been reporting today that the white house said, look, i had
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wanted senior administration officials say to me that the notion that they would stop backing chuck hagel and would actually withdraw his nomination, he called that insane to me. insane. and what he also said is that they are not quite sure what the republicans want other than delay. is this about chuck hagel? is this about benghazi? and as this source pointed out, look, they wanted hillary clinton to testify on benghazi, they got her. they wanted the timeline supplied to them about what the president knew, who he speak to and when, they said they've now gotten that. so they believe and another source described it to me this way, they believe that they just want to be vindictive, that this is now about president obama and that in the end if they continue this, they will look petty, as one source put it. >> and i just want to be precise, dana bash, this vote is still continuing. we don't know if the vote has failed or succeeded or what's going on. but we assume that there
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aren't -- what you're hearing is that there aren't probably five republicans who will join 55 democrats in breaking this filibuster? >> reporter: that's right. going in, the democrats did not think that they had the 60 votes and we could only potentially find three republicans who were going to agree to stop this filibuster but we probably will see this any minute. the vote is technically over but sometimes they have to wait for senators to come in to cast their votes. one thing i will say, though, is we were talking about the fact that probably hagel will be confirmed after the senators come back from a week-long recess. at this point i'm a little bit gun-shy. i wouldn't even take that to the bank and the reason is because we've seen this before. i had several republican senators say to me, point blank today, that they will vote no today but vote yes next week because they want to give their colleagues more time. you never know what's going to happen next week. hagel's opponents are determined to take him down and block him
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from being defense secretary. that's on the one hand. the other hand, you might ask, if that's the case, if democrats are hearing from republicans that they need more time, why are they holding this vote? there's a good political reason, from their perspective. it's politically helpful to show that republicans are blocking the president's defense secretary. they think that it makes them look like obstructionist. >> i want you both to stand by. we wait for the final vote. it hasn't failed. it might fail. but we'll wait for the final vote to be counted and then we'll know and of course update our viewers as soon as that happenses. it's going to take a few more minutes. gloria, stand by, dana bash, stand by as well. we'll see if chuck hagel on this day wins or loses. it looks like he's going to lose but we'll wait to see the vote actually counted. we'll take a quick break. when we come back, we're watching the carnival "triumph." it's moving slowly towards the
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port. we're going to be speaking with a passenger on board this cruise ship live when we come back. fore bing it on challenge. [fight bell: ding, ding] what's your preferred search engine? search engine, uhh, probably google. if we do a side by side blind test comparison, and you end up choosing google, you get an xbox. i'll bet you the xbox, you bet me your son. well let's look up what you need. okay, i would do the left. yeah? what?! i am a daddy! bing wins it! bing won. bing did win. people prefer bing over google for the web's top searches. don't believe it? go to bingiton.com and see what you're missing. [ barking ] ♪ come on, boy! [ barks ] here we go. ♪ ♪
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[ male announcer ] engine light on? come to meineke now for a free code scan read and you'll say...my money. my choice. my meineke. all right. you're looking at live pictures of the carnival "triumph" as it slowly makes its way to port in mobile, alabama. it's now estimated, barring any last minute glitches, 10:00 p.m. eastern to midnight eastern. that's the estimate a spokesman for carnival says it will then take four to five hours to get all 4200 people on board the carnival "triumph" to shore. four to five hours. obviously young children, people with special needs will have first opportunity to leave.
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only one elevator is working. that makes it very, very difficult. we had shown you live pictures from our helicopter flying overhead exclusive pictures of what was going on in the upper deck. but these are live pictures coming from shore as we see this huge vessel making its way to mobile. terry thornton, the vice president of carnival telling us just a few minutes ago that this will be the largest ship ever to dock at this facility, at this port in mobile. so obviously they've got a lot of problems. that little tugboat you see at the front is moving. is moving this ship all the way. so it's obviously a very, very significant situation. ed buck is one of the passengers aboard this ship, the carnival "triumph." he's joining us us on the phone right now. ed, thanks very much for calling in. what's it like right now? what can you tell us?
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>> i just had a crab sandwich with lobster for lunch because they are finishing off all the food. life is good. people are very excited right now. we're getting back. you know, i think the media's made a lot of -- made it sound real bad. it's not quite as bad as everybody says. it was kind of like everybody gets together. the carnival did us right. they fed us pretty well the whole time. lines were long. the big problem that we had was the bathrooms but we had water most of the trip and they've been doing everything they can possibly to take care of us. they've offered us all our money back, vouchers for another cruise, and $500 cash. >> i like your attitude. and it's a very positive attitude. it's different than some of the other passengers we've been speaking with. and you've been kind enough to send us some pictures and i want to put them up on the screen. tell us what we're seeing. there's one of you with a
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hazardous waste bag. there it is right there. what's that all about? >> those are the red bags and those were for using the bathroom, doing number two. and they -- as soon as you did, you would then put them outside your door and the cabin folks would immediately remove them. so that was kind of how we were handling it and then all of a sudden, the day before yesterday, they finally got some of the toilets working. we were up on the # 1th floor and they haven't worked. that's really the only problem on the ship. we lost water for two days and then we got it back and the ship was listing. so it was a matter of what side it was listing to what side you could take a shower. i think they've had at least 15 helicopter drops on to the ship. at one point we had three other
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carnival ships circling that were sending lifeboats over with plenty of food. so there's plenty of food on the ship. >> that's good to hear. >> yes. >> there's a picture you sent us with a bunch of mattresses piled up outside. walk us through that. >> yes, sir. the story is, some of the cabins -- the very back of the ship flooded because when the fire happened, the -- a lot of state rooms and all of the floors in the very back that flooded because the sprinkler systems came on and plus with no light and no air condition, they got very stale for -- you know, floors were living out on the deck which was, by the way, in the first day and a half was beautiful out there and then we unfortunately had some rain and then all of a sudden as we got
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closer to land it was cold. and so people had moved in. so, yeah, all of the hallways are like tent city but everybody was very friendly. things were good, for the most part, under the circumstances. and just one plug for carnival, they have gone head over heels to help us out and even two nights ago they opened up the bars and had free beer and wine for everybody and the struggles that people are having right now is no electricity to keep their cell phones going. otherwise i would have sent you a lot more pictures but my battery is dying. they are having what they are calling charging parties and different outlets around the elevators have as many as 50 people sitting around with strings of power strips and everybody blugs in and it's very orderly. you get half a charge and you move on. >> well, that's good to hear. ed, i want to stay in close touch with you, assuming your
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power is still around. it's going to be at least another six, seven, eight hours until you're able to start getting off that ship. but we'll stay in close contact. ed buck is a cruise passenger. where are you going to be winding up? >> we're from houston, texas, and our car is down in galveston. we have cruised 13 times. i will absolutely cruise again and cruise on carnival, too, as a matter of fact. we do a lot of traveling on cruises and think it's one of the best vacations that you can and this is just a rarity that something like this has happened. again, it's not as bad as people have been talking about. but lee say some people did suffer because if you were down in the lower decks with no air or light, it was a problem. >> all right. ed, i love your attitude. it's a very positive attitude under these kinds of conditions. we're going to continue this conversation later. ed buck from houston joining us from aboard the "triumph." thank you. if you get an opportunity to send us more pictures, we'd be
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grateful as well. appreciate it very, very much. we're going to stand by. we're going to be watching what's going on. these are live pictures you're seeing of the carnival "triumph" making its way slowly towards mobile. we're watching that. you see a vote still under way for chuck hagel to become the next defense secretary. we'll update you on the fate of chuck hagel when we come back. cd to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis
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we're watching the carnival "triumph" slowly make its way to shore. it's going to take several more hours. we're also watching the vote of chuck hagel to become the
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next defense secretary. still waiting the outcome of that. stand by. morn news from south africa. a world famous olympic athlete stands charged with murdering his model girlfriend. we're live from johannesburg. what a story, robin. what's the latest? >> reporter: what a story. osc oscar pistorius was the fastest man with no legs who ran in the olympic games with men with legs and made it through to the semifinals. his has been a story of inspiration, of triumph over adversity. essentially he's been the golden boy of international athletics. all of that happened in a horrible valentine's day tragedy. it appears he shot dead his model girlfriend. police say he'll be charged officially with murder in a
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magistrate court on friday morning. they say that he he will -- that they will oppose bail which points to the fangt that they have a good case against him. there's been speculation as to what happened. the police hinting at perhaps domestic violence a. spat between this couple in the early hours of the morning at his home. other speculation is that he tragically thought she was an intruder coming into his house, perhaps sneaking in to wish him a valentine's day. all in all, many south africans absolutely shocked by the man that they considered inspiration and a role model. back to you. >> robyn, when you get more information, let us know. joining us from johannesburg. tragic story indeed. this cruise ship making its way towards the port of mobile, alabama. 4200 people on board under miserable conditions. we're watching. got live pictures coming up. also, we're awaiting the outcome
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of the roll call vote on chuck hagel to become the nation's next defense secretary. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. (blowing sound) ask your doctor about spiriva.
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effort to break a filibuster that would have involved a formal roll call vote for chuck hagel to become the next defense secretary has now failed. they needed 60 votes to break the filibuster. they only got 58. dana bash is our chief congressional correspondent. major setback right now for the obama administration for the democrats. they couldn't break that filibuster. >> reporter: it certainly is. and it's a change over what we thought and what they thought, even just a few days ago.
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and the reason for the change is because some republicans who had said that they would not support a filibuster, that they would oppose it, vote yes, changed their mind. they changed their mind because they wanted to stand in sole dairy tea with their fellow republican senators who were contemplating more time, more time to try to get answer to questions that they insist that they still have over speeches that he gave, how he was paid, things like that. the democratic side, of course, they have been arguing that he has given above and beyond the information that senators need for his confirmation. but at the end of the day, what's going to happen, wolf, is next week there's going to be a congressional recess. no one will be here. the expectation is that they will take this vote once again and several of those republicans that i was talking about told me that they will vote yes next time. we'll see if anything percolates over the next week. >> have you had a chance to look at the roll call to see who the three republicans who joined the
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democrats to vote in favor of this effort to break the filibuster were? >> susan collins was one. she had a phone call from joe biden yesterday and told our rachel a few moments ago she did it because she believes that the president has a right to have whoever he wants in his cabinet. lisa murkowski said she voted with the democrats because she didn't want to break her word because she had always said she won't oppose a filibuster. i believe the other republican was the senator from his home state of nebraska but we have to find out for sure. i know that the two female senators, republican senators, susan collins and lisa murkowski did break with their party on this. >> orrin hatch voted president? >> that's our understanding. it's something that he wants to do on votes like these, voted president in the past. >> it's clearly a setback for
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the administration. gloria is here. gloria borger is our chief political analyst. a setback for the white house. they wanted this break so they could have an up or down vote that would lead to confirmation. this is a setback. here's the question. there's been a lot of rumors, speculation. maybe chuck hagel himself, given the fact to be an effective defense secretary you need bipartisan support. he's not getting it even though ironically he's a republican, served for 12 years as a republican senator, main he himself would tell the president, maybe it's best that i withdraw my name for consideration. >> no. and every single thing today that we got from the administration that s that that couldn't be further from the truth, that both he and the white house intend to fight this and the white house believes that when they return from their congressional recess, as dana was pointing out, when they have another vote, they've made their point and that they would then vote to allow his confirmation to come up for his final vote.
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the question that i have, wolf, is is there kind of a hangover on this to the confirmation of john brennan as head of the cia. john mccain had a press conference earlier today and said he's going to continue asking questions about who knew what, when on benghazi. and those questions will go to john brennan. >> a major setback for the obama administration. chuck hagel still has not been confirmed. they are going to have to wait several more days. we'll see what happens in these days to follow. thanks very much, gloria and dana. let's get back to the other breaking news story we're following. right now we're getting our first look at the unimaginable conditions aboard the stricten cruise ship. it's crawling at a very slow pace. it's being towed by tugboats. the ship is close to land and passengers can send pictures and what a disturbing sight some of these conditions, conditions inside the ship described by
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some is put trid. at least that's the word that one passenger put out. public areas fouled by raw sewage, people forced to use plastic bags instead of toilets. and take a look at this. our helicopter captured passengers lying on the deck spelling out the world help. the "triumph" is still estimated to be at least, at least six hours away from docking right now. the 3,000-plus passengers, 1,000-plus crew members, so many of them desperate to end this nightmare. >> we're in desperate need. we need water, you know, so just come and help us. >> we have reporters on land, in the air, and in boats. they are all watching "triumph" as it limps into port. victor blackwell is in a boat alongside the "triumph." victor, tell us what you're seeing. >> reporter: you're seeing a much closer look at the
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"triumph" that we've seen up to this point. the coast guard is keeping a distance of about 500 yards of anyone not involved with bringing this in to port. we just got some good news. i've been speaking with the captain of our vessel, is that carnival "triumph" has passed the strongest current coming against this ship headed out. because on the left of the screen is ft. morgan, which is on the other side -- you can't see it, it's dauphin island. it will be well after midnight before the last person on "triumph" disembarks to begin the progress to get back home. they are either going towards
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home in new orleans or take buses to houston or galveston to start their travel home, wolf. >> are there a lot of boats nearby in this area where you are watching the "triumph" make its way slowly to port? >> reporter: there is -- i can see one private vessel from here but mostly what i'm seeing -- of course, these two gs are involved. there's the coast guard that is here and there's also homeland security that was here. those pilots were out here, the mobile and the alabama that are working with this tug to guide it along the port. not many vessels involved involved in bringing "triumph" back to port. >> and you can make out the tugboat that is bringing that huge, huge ship into port. you can see it from where you are. they had a break in that line earlier but it looks pretty good
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now, right? >> reporter: yeah. that was a few hours ago. you can see that there is tension in that line. we actually heard through scanner traffic, which maybe you can hear behind me right now, that line broke. then we saw the pilot boat that came up to kind of guide us this rush back to the tug and try to rig that up again to get it moving again. whi while it was unconnected, this ship swerved 180 degrees back and forth at the beginning of this journey but now it's moving in the right direction. it will likely pick up pace because, as i said, it's moved past the strongest current that was fighting against it. >> so it's a pretty amazing moment right there, victor. anything else you want to share with us before i let you go? >> reporter: well, i can tell you that what these people are feeling is cold. i mean, it's much colder than they expected. so the people that were standing on this deck -- and i know you can see them from the helicopter shots, did not expect to be
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coming into these temperatures. again, they are in bath robes. they have people waiting with coats for them. it was 30 in the afternoon, 40 in the afternoon and it's going to be even cooler. they are getting a bit of a shock although they are excited to hit land. >> but there's no rain or anything like that, right? >> reporter: no, there's no rain. but there was some rough weather yesterday. that was actually one of the major concerns, that if the weather that held yesterday and the previous day were -- appeared today, that would create another problem for this ship. but clear blue skies, actually the shot that we saw this morning, that 10 to 15-mile-an-hour winds, that has died down. it looks like things are going well if that continues to hold and pull "triumph." >> victor, thank you very much. be careful in the waters there as well. joining us now on the phone is a passenger on board the
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"triumph." she is one of the passengers. pareesa, tell us, first of all, how you are doing. >> hi, wolf. considering, we're doing okay. >> you're doing all right? >> yeah. we're making it through. we're doing all right. >> well, that's good. because you only have a few more hours to suffer on board. your mom sheila, we spoke with her yesterday here in cnn in the situation room. first of all, sheila, say hello to your daughter pareesa. >> hey, sugar. >> hi, mom. >> how are you, baby? >> good. we'll be home soon. it will be okay. >> i'm so proud of you all. >> oh, my god. thanks. the crew is who you should be proud of.
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the crew has been really wonderful. >> i think all of of the passengers should all be so commend because it's been a very difficult time for all of you all. and i'm so happy that y'all are almost home. >> trust me, we're very happy, too. >> parisa, tell us what it's been like these past few days. i'm sure your mom sheila who's on the phone now, i know you recently graduated from college. you work in pr. your mom is in a nurse. first of all, she's a mom so she's obviously been very worried about you. so tell us what it's been like. >> you know, immediately it was panic. none of the detectors went off, as in fire alarms, smoke alarms, none of that activated. so initially it was pure havoc.
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it was all word of mouth, people grabbing life jackets, random announcements on the p.a. but not too much information and of course when we finally all made it to the top deck and saw all of the smoke, you can imagine, wolf, we were pretty frightened but since then there's been an overwhelming amount of cam cammaraderie and sticking together and i think i can confidently say that we're really impressed with the teamwork here. i think we're more frustrated by the inaudible. >> you were there on a cruise ship with a bunch of friends. is that right, parisa? >> right. we graduated in december and all thought about, why don't we celebrate and go on a cruise? and we had one fun day in mexico. that's what we keep reliving on. and whether it's, you know, urine and sewage leaking from the ceilings or, you know, babies crying because they've
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run out of formula, it's been overwhelming. but we're making it through. >> sheila, you have a question for your daughter, parisa? >> no. i just admire their spirit. it makes me grateful that we all have a chance to get up the next morning. >> so parisa, tell us what you are going to do. the ship is supposed to dock any time between 10:00 p.m. eastern, 9:00 p.m. central and midnight eastern. it's going to take four to five hours to get all 4200 people off sha ship. what do you want to do when you get off that ship? >> well, at this point we're used to long lines and long waits. no rush are, honestly. but i can tell you on behalf of my friends and i, we are desperate for a hot shower and dry land. we are going to jump in a car and actually drive back home because we're not interested in sitting on a bus or waiting a couple more days.
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we want to see our family and friends and sleep in our beds. we'll be heading from mobile straight to houston when we get back. >> how long of a drive is that? >> i've been told it's about 10 to 12 hours. we've been pretty much confined for four or five days so what's another 10 or 12 more, right? >> and sheila, you're going to be waiting for your daughter. you must be very proud of her. she sounds pretty good under pretty dire circumstances. what's your reaction, mom? >> i'm very, very proud of her and i know her friends equally as well, they are a group of young super smart, compassionate professionals and i can't thank them enough for seeing that the truth was coming out so everybody knows what they were going through. i really appreciate that. >> parisa, do you plan on doing any cruises any time soon?
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>> absolutely no. but i told my dad the other day when i talked to him, you know, since this was a botched graduation gift, can we get another one, possibly a flight or a road trip, that would be better. >> i think you've got a good sense of humor and you're a good passenger and you've shown a lot of patience under pretty awful circumstances. we're glad we could reconnect both mom and daughter via cell phone. parisa, thanks so much. sheila, thanks to you as well. i know you guys are ak shously looking forward to getting back together. good luck to both of you. >> absolutely. thank you, wolf. all right. this just coming in to "the situation room." we have just received this video. take a look at it. it shows the fire that started the problems on board the carnival "triumph." this video comes from passenger megan taken early sunday morning when the fire started. you can see thick black smoke
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coming from the top of the ship from the smoke stack. foxall told cnn she knew something was wrong when she heard the alarm going off and saw the smoke. she didn't hear from crew members until hours later that there was actually a fire. passengers were told by the crew, and i'm quoting now, there is a swrags situation and it's under control. of course, the fire caused the ship to lose power and to drip and we've seen the horrible conditions the last several days unfold. these are the pictures that we're seeing of the smoke on board. you can actually see the fire that started this enormous, enormous problem on the carnival "triumph." we're getting more pictures, more interviews with passengers of the "triumph" coming in in our 6:00 p.m. hour. we'll have an interview with one person who describes the cruise in his own words as simply a nightmare. we'll be getting a lot more pictures, interviews coming up. we'll stay on top of this story
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tomorrow starts here. all right. there you see the carnival "triumph" slowly making its way. it looks like it's passing -- i assume that's an oil rig out there in the -- off the port of mobile, alabama. still going to take several hours before it reaches the port. it's moving very slowly as the small tugboat tries to pull it towards shore. hopefully there won't be any more problems and it will get there some time between 10:00 p.m. eastern and midnight and it could take four to five hours to get all 4200 people off that vessel. martin savidge is on the dock with family members waiting for their loved ones. you've got some special guests, right, martin? >>. >> reporter: we do, wolf. we're waiting at the alabama cruise center. this is ground zero for the family members waiting anxiously
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for the ship to tie up. joining me is beth and rusty and you all have are family members on board that vessel. john, let me ask you, what is is it like waiting, waiting, waiting for you? >> we'll, i've tried to keep my peace about it knowing that i can't control that situation. i felt a lot better today. i was able to talk to my wife for the first time since monday at 2:00. it feels so good to know that they are safe and sound. that's the main thing. >> your wife and daughter, right? >> that's right. >> and rusty, same circumstance for the both of you. let me point this in the right direction. that will make it a lot better. the wait and just hearing as it gets delayed, delayed, delayed, what's that like? >> it's very frustrating. we want to see our family members so bad and we want to get them off the ship as quickly as possible. it seems like it's being delayed and keeps adding delays and it's very, very frustrating.
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>> beth, this all began on sunday? >> sunday around 2:00 that she called and told us that the ship was on fire and then we got a call back with the devastating news of all of the issues going on, the food issues and the restroom issues, the smell issues, you know, so on and so forth. >> we know it well. what are your feelings towards this cruise line right now? are you feeling that you're getting the information as a parent, as a loved one waiting on shore? >> absolutely not consistently. the information we received the last few days as been so inconsistent. you call one time and get one information and call back and get something totally different. delayed information it seems like. >> that's been a problem, we should point out. many family members haven't felt like they've been kept informed. you had a long drive. you came all the way from indiana? >> yes. it was a round-about trip but,
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yes, sir, we are from indiana. >> reporter: if you drove straight through, that would be 18 hours? >> yes, sir, if i drove straight through. right. >> reporter: what is the plan now? what is the plan as far as getting back with family? where are you going to go next? >> oh, my. well, first of all, we can't wait to see them and then we're going to take them and whatever food they want, whatever -- if they want to get cleaned up, that's what we want to provide for them as quickly as possible. >> reporter: are you going to go with the plans that carnival had instituted or do you feel family knows best? >> well, we just heard that we're able to go to a hotel provided nearby. that's fine by me. it's still valentine's. we've got time to celebrate. >> reporter: all right. thank you all for taking the time to talk to us. we can't wait for you to be reunited. wolf, that is kept in a lot of people's minds. this is valentine's day and they were supposed to be reunited
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long ago and it's going to happen tonight or maybe tomorrow. >> these people deserve a shower very quickly once they get off that ship. martin, thanks very, very much. let's check in with our meteorologist chad myers. it's a slow-moving vessel right now. they say it's resumed course and you'll explain what this means. it's resumed course towards shore at 1.1 degrees, speed is 5.4 knots or 6.21 miles per hour. 6.12 miles per hour is better than 1 mile per hour which it was only a few hours ago. >> it was doing one mile per hour backwards two hours ago when the line broke from the towboat to the ship. all of a sudden the ship was literally just wandering off into space. it was backing up. the other towboats were trying to keep it in line. it's still 29 lines from the shore. they can see the beach, ft.
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morgan, dauphin island. as the line broke, it just drifted out here in the ocean ocean. finally got right down through that little channel right there. there it goes. that's the line that it's already been. there's the ship right there. it still has 29 miles to go. the red on the right, red right returning. that's the first thing you ever learn from chapman's piloting book. it's going to make a slight left-hand turn and down into mobile bay at 4, 5, 6 miles per hour. that's going to take a really long time. you can track it. there are some areas. there's one graphic we've been watching as well. it's called vessel finder. you can look over here to the side doing four knots, 9.8 degrees. there's the ship right there.
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six, seven hours still to go, wolf. and then they have to dock and because there's only one elevator working, it could take four to five hours to get everyone off. i think we're going to be here all night long. >> hopefully those 4200 people will get off in less than four or five hours but we want everybody to get off safely as well. chad, we'll check back with you. we are not going to lose sight of this cruise ship limping back towards mobile, alabama. 3200 passengers, more than 1,000 crew members. we'll continue to watch this slowly moving vessel. up next, also, we're taking a look at the most expensive weapon ever built. yes. a $400 billion price tag as the pentagon faces $500 billion spending cuts. what's going on? stand by. i'm dr. sanjay gupta.
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there you see a live picture of the carnival "triumph" slowly making its way to port. it's moving at around 5 to 6 miles per hour. it's being tugged and it should get there, assuming all goes well, sometime after 10:00 p.m. eastern, before midnight, if all goes well. it hasn't all gone well.
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even in the past few hours there was a break in the tug line but they fixed it. it's now moving. let's hope it moves in safely and surely in the next couple of hours. i want to bring you up to date of some other news we're watching, including some drastic pentagon cuts now only a couple weeks away. many critics are pointing fingers at a new warplane that's hundreds, hundreds of mile generals of dollars over budget and it's being called, quote, the most expensive weapon ever built. we're talking about the high-tech f-35. according to "time" magazine, the f-35 price tag has nearly doubled from 2001 to $396 billion. it's described as a, quote, flying swiss army knife, able to engage in dog fights, drop bombs and spy with versions that work for the air force, the marine corps, and the navy. joining us now is "time"
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magazine rick stengel. "time," as you know, is a corporate sibling of cnn. it seems like a lot of taxpayer has already been wasted. at a time when we're worried about paychecks for troops, they are spending hundreds and billions of dollars on this. what's going on? >> wolf, they say general spike the last war. they sometimes buy weapons for the last war. the f-35 was the fighter of all fighters, it would work for all of the different services. but it it was conceived and designed so many years ago in some ways it's about the 20th century warfare. now in an era when we have drones all over the place, the question is, should we really be spending $400 billion and should taxpayers be paying that for a weapon system that could be obsolete by the time it roll off
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the runway. >> your reporter wrote it and he has a lot of experience. by no means the first time there's been a battle over high-tech military infrastructure, if you will, weapons, if you will. there's always some fighting going on. but so much has already been spent. here's the question. would it be a mistake to just drop this thing and move on? >> well, one of the things that mark says, wolf, is that you might want to look at this program and restrain it a little bit, take it a step back to develop some of the other jets that are working, like the f-16, f-15 and actually save money for the taxpayer. >> the article says the f-35's contractors employ 133,000 people across 45 states. lockheed martin says there will be more jobs available. so there are a lot of politicians who have a stake in this aircraft, right? >> yes. the politicians have a stake in the aircraft because there are factories in their districts.
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they get contributions from the companies and one of the things that the pentagon did as well, knowing that the sequester was coming, they put about $5 billion worth of contracts out the door before the end of the year. >> it's a great article. it's in the new article of "time" magazine. thank you. >> thank you, wolf. >> by the way, you have a great cover of "the once and future pope." i read that as well. u.s. airways and american airlines are forming the largest airline in the world. the proposed merger, which will use the american airlines name, is the latest in a series of moves that have combined ten major airlines in just four mega carriers. a huge, huge development on that front. getting back to our top story, graph particular descriptions of appalling conditions. we're going to hear from more of the passengers desperate to get off the carnival "triumph." target is in sight.
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then you're going to love this. right now they're only $14.95! wow-a grt deal just got a whole lot better. hurry. $14.95 won't last. we're continuing to watch the carnival "triumph" slowly, slowly makes its way to port in mobile, alabama. you see the tugboat that's behind the vessel but another tugboat is pushing it in, bringing it in to port. should be getting in sometime between 10:00 a.m. eastern and midnight, assuming all goes well. we got brand-new pictures that are being sent in to us from some of the carnival "triumph" passengers, including sylvester da davis. sylvester davis is joining us on
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the phone. thanks so much for joining us. we have pictures that we are seeing that you sent us. first of all, how are you doing, mr. davis? >> i'm not having a picnic but we're hanging in there. >> what's been the worst part so far? >> the worst part is just the urine everywhere and feces everywhere and just the general conditions. it's gotten a lot better. most of the notifications went out that the ntsb and coast guard were coming on board and spent time cleaning up. it's sort of frustrating because it doesn't look like the way it looked like and the way we've been living. >> have you had enough food? >> when we first started off we were having tomato sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches.
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i think we got a delivery from elation and conquest carnival. it's been hit and miss, kind of spotty. we have some and then run out. it wasn't unusual to wait three hours in line for food. most of the food was cold food and then after a while they got one grill off. that line was long and it wasn't uncommon to wait 3, 3 1/2 hours in that line if you wanted hot food. >> i'm going to put some of the pictures that you sent us up on the screen, mr. davis, and you can give us a background. you showed cell phones being charged. i assume that's why we're talking, because you were able to charge your cell phone? >> yes. people released -- did a lot of skaf venging and anyplace there was power, people were pulling power strips off the back of monitors and looking them up and the word would get around and everyone would try to hook up and get their phones charged and
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that was important because, again, we didn't have any cell service. we could use their cell tower and make calls but that was the only time that we could make calls or get anything back. >> you sent us pictures of backed-up ur nals. pretty disgusting. you said this is the worst part of what you had to endure? >> yes. basically, those three buckets that you see, they've got the black bags over the urn nal and that was the men's restroom and they wanted you to urinate in those buckets. >> there was a letter that you sent us from the captain explaining how he's been selected by the ntsb for a brief interview before he debarks the ship before they report. what did they tell you about what the national transportation safety board is going to do? >> that was a letter that someone showed us and we just took a picture of it. i don't know how those people
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got selected. one of the ladies down by the cabin where he were originally scheduled to stay, they didn't even announce over the intercom that they were doing interviews. so random people, i don't know how they got selected: they are about to make a statement. >> let's listen. >> we ask at this time that you come on deck. inaudible. thank you. >> mr. davis, what did they just announce? >> they announced that 8 and 9 are now proceeding to go through customs and immigration and coast guard came on board so they can go deck by deck and they are going to clear immigration on the ship and hopefully that means when we finally dock we can just get off and go. >> what is your game plan once you get off that ship? what are you going to do? >> well, it's been a lot of
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misinformation. i was supposed to get information on how to get out of here and it was supposed to be delivered to my room. so i don't really know. they had people sign up for where they were going to go and i never got the information. some people are flying out, some people are bussing to galveston. some people are being flown to their original destination. but at this point in time, some people have their complete information with flight information and other people don't have anything. so you don't know whether you're going anywhere at this time. you hope you're going somewhere once we dock and everything's taken care of, but you don't know. >> where is home? >> my home is in the dallas area. >> mr. davis, good luck to you. good luck to all of your fellow passengers and crew members. we'll stay in touch with you if we can. i appreciate you sending some of those pictures as well. sylvester davis a. cruise ship passenger. good luck. >> thank you very much, sir. have a good day.
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>> thank you. much more coming up on this story. erin burnett is going "outfront" on this story. that follows "the situation room" at 7:00 p.m. carnival cruise line confronting a pr nightmare. we're going to talk about that, what they have done wrong, what they have done right, and a lot more as the carnival "triumph" slowly, slowly makes its way to port. tell them they could save a lot of money on their car insurance by switching to geico...they may even make you their best man. may i have the rings please? ah, helzberg diamonds. nice choice, mate. ...and now in the presence of these guests we join this loving couple. oh dear... geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. ♪ [ male announcer ] start with a groundbreaking car. good. then invent an entirely new way to buy one.
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there is a live picture of the carnival "triumph" as it is slowly making its way to port in mobile, alabama. it should arrive, we're told,
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between 10:00 p.m. eastern and midnight. that's a big assumption right now given the history of this particular vessel. the cruise nightmare has been a public relations nightmare for carnival cruise. mary snow is looking at how the company is handling all of this. what are you hearing, mary? >> wolf, people will tell you that image is crucial in how carnival handles all of this. there is a picture of the ceo of carnival corporation, mickey erickson, photographed at a miami heat game on sunday night as all of this was unfolding. one important distinction here, he owns the miami heat and one crisis management team we spoke to said, he doesn't see that picture as being very damaging because he does have a responsibility to the team as well.
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he says overall, while the carnival cruise line has done some things right, there are questions that have yet to be answered. >> why was this condition allowed to happen? yes, we understand that you can lose your power. but why did it evolve into such a difficult situation for these people? wasn't there something more that the company could have done? and so far i don't see a great explanation for that. >> now one of the big questions is why couldn't the passengers be taken off the ship earlier, both the cruise line and coast guard personnel have cited safety reasons. of course, that will likely come under more scrutiny once that ship has returned to dock. wolf? >> a public >> a public relations nightmare, to be sure. thanks very much for that, mary snow. and there's a live picture, as you see, of the carnival "triumph," as it makes its way to mobile, the port in mobile. it's moving slowly. our helicopter is getting ready to fly over the carnival cruise ship, the "triumph," and we're
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going to bring you those live pictures shortly as well. there's other news we're following, including news of a popular olympic athlete known around the world as blade runner. today he stands charged in his girlfriend's murder. that story and much more coming up. we created the luxury crossover and kept turning the page, writing the next chapter for the rx and lexus. this is the pursuit of perfection. pretty sweet, huh? cute. but don't you have any apps on your phone that can make your life easier? who do you think i am, quicken loans? at quicken loans, we'll provide you with myql mobile. this amazingly useful app allows you to take pictures of your mortgage documents using an iphone or android smart phone... so you can easily send them to us. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ooh, la-la! many cereals say they're good for your heart, but did you know there's a cereal
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an olympic star charged in the murder of his model girlfriend after a shooting at his south african home. kate balduan's monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on, kate? >> this story has been grabbing a lot of people's attention, wolf. oscar pistorius, also known as blade runner, for the signature blades he uses in place of legs, made history last summer competing in the olympics, despite his disability. investigators have now given no
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motive, though he is in custody. his first court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow. we'll be following up on that, you can be sure. also, democratic new jersey senator frank lautenberg says he will not be running for re-election in 2014. we're just finding this out. the longtime senator says this isn't the end of anything, though, but rather the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws and create new opportunities. now 89 years old, lautenberg says he plans to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of his state. and in a google plus hangout this afternoon, president obama repeated his calls for changes in the nation's gun control laws. and he says that it does not mean he is against all guns. >> well, i actually don't think we should ban handguns, but keep in mind that what we're trying to do is to come up with a package that protects second amendment rights, but also makes a meaningful difference in
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reducing violence. we're not going to eliminate it completely. >> regardless, it's still going to be a tough, uphill battle for the president on gun control measures. wolf? >> thanks, kate. see you in a few minutes. we've seen the ship moving slowly, very slowly, all day. when we come back, we're going to take you inside. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. i'm here to pick up some cacti. it should be under stephens. the verizon share everything plan for small business. get a shareable pool of data... got enough joshua trees? ... on up to 25 devices. so you can spend less time... yea, the golden barrels... managing wireless costs and technology
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let's take a closer look inside this giant ship. cnn's tom foreman is here to take us on a little tour. it's a big, big ship, the "triumph," isn't it? >> it is. and it's hard to imagine just how large. this was built in 1999, $420 million. it's got 13 decks. and when you look at some of the upper decks like this, the panorama deck, there are entertainment areas out here, places for people to do things, and only a limited amount of housing up here for people,lido. entertainment and exercise, and down here is the living area. but as you move down into the ship, i think you'll move into the areas where you'll see more people having complaints. down to the veranda deck, that's a lot of spaces for people to be living, both inside and out towards the outer edge.
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the empress deck, same thing. beyond there, the main deck. again, lots and lots of people in a little space here. and then all the way down to the riviera deck, you see the same effect. my suspicion, wolf, is as we get the ship to shore and people start telling exactly where they were, we're going to find that a lot of people in these lower decks, because you can see where the riviera deck is, i think you'll find where a lot of people are clustered together, that's where some of the biggest complaints were. obviously, a lot of people, not a lot of space, and whatever services are being used down there are having more pressure on them, even if people can move around the ship. wolf? >> tom foreman, thanks for that explanation. and happening now, we're following the breaking news. the final hours of a truly hellish cruise. passengers can see land, but they still can't escape a crippled ship that has become a floating disaster area. only cnn has been bringing you live pictures of the carnival "triumph" from the land, from the air, and from the sea.
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it will be at least four hours before the ship docks in mobile, alabama. passengers have been giving us gripping accounts of what's going on inside the ship. and they've been sending us pictures as well. many of them horrific pictures. we've seen sewage on the floors, on the walls. we're told it's even soaking mattresses. people sleeping in filthy halls. passengers say the ship smells revolting. we're staying on top of this story, until more than 4,000 trapped passengers and crew members are safely on land. you will hear their stories this hour. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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>> this may have been the moment where the nightmare aboard the carnival "triumph" began. we just received this video taken by a passenger on sunday. that's the day a fire broke out in the ship's engine room. she says she knew something was wrong when she saw the smoke, heard an alarm going off. she says she didn't find out from crew members about the fire until hours later and then passengers were told the situation was, quote, around control. these last few hours may be the worst for the desperate passengers. it's not too hard to understand that some may be losing their cool. passenger julie morgan talked about that just a little while ago. >> people are starting to lose it a little bit, tempers are flaring, people are being very snippy. it started midday yesterday through today. basically because we would get the, we're arriving at 9:00 on wednesday. no, scratch that, we're arriving at noon on thursday. they keep changing things, so
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people are getting frustrated with that. >> kate balduan is here. she's watching what's going on as well. a horrific situation, kate, hopefully it will come to an end shortly. >> that's absolutely right. and estimates right now are that the "triumph" will arrive in mobile, alabama, in the 10:00 eastern hour, and that is at the earliest. and then, it will take another four to five hours to get passengers off the ship, only prolonging, really, the agony and the difficulty they've been suffering for the past few days. let's go straight to mobile, where our martin savage is standing by live. martin, what's the latest? >> reporter: hey, kate. we're standing here at the alabama cruise terminal. this is the absolutely final destination for "triumph" tonight. it's also the headquarters of all the families that have come from, as far away as indiana, to be here in person to pick up their loved ones. because quite frankly, they just felt that after all they've been through, they needed to see a family face. let me show you and step out of the way, if you take a look over in that direction, you're probably going to see that gangway. that's the only gangway, by the
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way. this is the largest cruise ship that has ever come into mobile, that according to carnival officials. that gangway will pull up next to the vessel once it's tied up at the dock, and that's how people will get off, get on to the second floor building there, and it's inside that cruise terminal where the reunion with their families, at least those that have come here, will take place. however, we've been told, this is going to be a long ordeal. even after the ship gets here. and that's going to be late, if not early tomorrow morning. it's going to take four, maybe five hours, carnival says, to deboard everybody. they'll begin with children first and those with special needs. but four to five hours, additionally. so you're talking 4:00 in the morning, maybe, by the time those reunions take place. so a lot of families here have left for the time being, gone to take a break, and they'll be back in a little while to begin that anxious wait. the other thing that's interesting here is that they have no way to tie up power. this is all going to take place in the dark. they brought in a lot of emergency lighting, you could say, to illuminate this pier, to make sure that the docking takes
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place smoothly. they don't anticipate any problem, but keep in mind, they're navigating a very big ship up a tight channel, all in e darkness and eventually tying it up here. so you can't say that all the worry is over just yet, kate. >> that's absolutely right. and we even heard during the press conference, martin, when they finally get to the port. when they finally dock, they're going to have to use a luggage brigade to get the luggage off -- get the luggage down to the dock, so people can carry it off themselves. clearly, the ordeal is far from over. we'll be following this for hours to come, along with you. martin savage in mobile for us. thanks, martin. >> only one elevator, apparently, is working right now on that ship. rough weather has certainly been delaying the ship, then that tug line broke. it's probably not going to get any easier when the "triumph" finally tries to dock. and it will be very, very dark when it does. let's bring in our meteorologist, chad myers. walk us through what we can expect, chad, over the next few hours. >> 26 more miles to go and it's going 6 miles per hour. that's actually the best making
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way it's gone in a long time. we haven't had 6 miles per hour in a couple of days. let me take you to where we are now. we are through the little cut between ft. morgan and also here. that's dauphin island. there's mobile channel, and the "triumph" under that little thing. earlier today, this was adrift out in the ocean, out in the gulf of mexico. it broke the line that was towing it. it kind of did a couple of loops, did a couple of 360s and was floating, basically, away from where they wanted to go. they got it hooked back up and now it is through the channel and into the channel. but, wolf, that channel is only 400 feet wide. 400 feet wide. and this boat is 116 -- ship, if you will, 116 feet wide, the beam there. so you don't have a lot of margin for error when you only have 400 feet and you're only taking up 116 and you have tug boats on both side of you. there's the boat, that's the exact spot right there. i just did the lat/long. it's going to go to the right of that, of the green, and to the left, the red, always red right
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returning. the three rs of boating, and back up here into mobile channel and up into mobile bay. that is still 26 miles away. it is still going to take some time. it stale may be a challenge, at times, if the wind blows at all. right now we have winds east at 6 that will try to blow the ship a little bit to the west. that's because the ship is so long, it's so tall. it's called windage. the windage on the boat, like a big sail, wants to blow the boat off-course and all these tug boats are trying to keep it on course. that's what they're going to do now in the dark. wolf? >> chad, thanks very much. let's get to the phone right now. julie is on board the crippled carnival triumph. she's joining us on the phone right now. julie, how are you doing? >> we're making it. yes, sir. >> what's it been like? >> caller: miserable and just probably the worst time in our life. we've had to put a lot of faith in god. >> have you had enough food, enough water, enough medicine if you need medicine?
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>> caller: yes, sir. we -- the first day, we had tomato sandwiches. and i hate tomatoes. but they have tried. the carnival crew has tried their very best to take care of us. right there. but we -- it's just been very hard, you know, to satisfy -- people are coming up there and just getting tons of food, just grabbing it, just because they're worried about getting food. >> we're showing our viewers, julie, we're showing our viewers pictures from the helicopter that's flying over. we have a helicopter flying over. they're sending out -- i don't know where you are. are you on one of the upper decks, are you outside? >> we're on the upper deck, in the back left, back left corner. i have a pink jacket on. my sister, robin, she has a white robe on with a red bag. my niece, breanna has a blue jean jacket on. my niece, brooklyn has a white robe on, and my daughter, julianna has a pink coat on, with a black skirt.
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and we're all standing on the back deck, waving. >> back left corner. >> we're going to see if we can find you up there as well, julie. how old is your daughter? >> she's 12 years old and she was on fox news this morning. >> how is she doing? >> she's doing fine. well, she busted out crying yesterday. we were in the middle -- she's in a bible quizzing tournament for next week, this coming weekend, and she busted out crying, right there in the middle, i said, julianna, let's keep quoting. and the next verse was, cast your burden upon the lord, because he cares for you. and now she's known that the lord can help through it. it's been a trial. it's definitely been a trial. we've really had to face a lot of things we didn't know how it was going to end up. >> julie, let me interrupt you for a second. you're wearing the red jacket. somebody was just dancing in
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front of you, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> who's dancing. that's brooklyn. brooklyn was dancing. >> if you turn the other way -- julie, if you'll turn the other way, you'll see a helicopter, you'll see us, keep turning. there we are, n you're looking right at us? >> okay, now we see you. >> who do you want to say hi to on shore? >> who should we say hi to? >> john, i love you so much. joe and blake, i love y'all, miss y'all. we love you! we love you! >> i'm sure they love you too. all your friends and family, if they're watching cnn right now. julie, they're seeing you and your entourage over there. and thanks for the nice smiles, the nice waves. it's always good to see happy faces, even after an ordeal like
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this. where's home for you guys? >> we are different places. me and my daughter, julianna, is from louisiana, lake charles, louisiana. robin and her daughter, brooklyn, are from carthage, mississippi. and my niece brianna is from indiana. noblesville, indiana. >> so walk us through, what are you going to do, julie, when you get off the boat? >> kiss my big husband, because it's valentine's day. i'm excited about seeing him. i'm ready to see him. >> kate balduan is here, julie, she wants to ask a question or two, kate. >> sounds like a very good valentine's day, getting off this ship. some point late this evening. i want to ask you, we've heard conflicting stories from some of the other passengers we've been talking to, julie. what are you hearing about the process for you to get off this boat? do you have clear plans? >> they're saying 11:00 p.m., inside the boat, they're doing
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the debarkation, you can get the line. it's probably 200, 300 people in the line. so we opted to just stay wherever until it goes down a lot. we're waiting until the line goes down, but they're calling everyone by rows. they're saying midnight, we'll probably be in the thing, and someone said it's going to take four hours to get off. i don't know if that's true or not, but 4:00 in the morning. >> it sounds like you all are in very high spirits. what have you all been doing these past days to keep yourself -- >> charging our phones! i just told the lady that we -- she called me earlier and it was 18%. and so i went downstairs, because i told her to call me back at 5:00, the charge was 18%. i sat there for an hour and 40 minutes, it got up to 42%. >> it's the little things in life sometimes. >> who knew it was such an ordeal to charge a phone? >> it's the little things, especially.
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>> i know, like ten spots, and everybody's really nice and trying to get everybody in, and we were using extension cords. so there's ten spots in two different places. so i would say 20 spots to charge your phone. >> julie, tell me, what's the mood been like on the ship? i'm sure maybe it's changed over the past few days. but what's the mood been like you, among your other passengers? >> i would say sunday and monday was more fear. it just seemed like people were just clinging to word, you know, good news. but since then, since we feel like we're making progress, after the tug boat finally got there and we started moving, it's a good feeling. it's not miserable. people are working for each other. i brought tylenol to a little girl that had a fever. our neighbor across the hall, he had an interior room, he had a balcony room, he let us go inside and use -- fix our hair in his room yesterday.
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and he let us do that. he let us go across there and just look out the window, so we could have light. because it's pitch black in our room. i mean, black. so it's very scary. and then we heard rumors of people going in rooms and stealing stuff. so that made us -- we've been sleeping in the hallway, and we've been sleeping with the door open, but that sort of scared us, so last night we shut our door. >> julie, you would you say the crew were polite? were they helpful? >> oh, they have work -- the crew has worked nonstop. they have been, from daylight to dark. i think one ship didn't even -- once they got a break, to take a break, it was too hot on their deck to go to sleep. they couldn't go to their cabins to sleep, because it was so hot and they have no air flow, and the smoke -- someone said that the fire reached to 1,250
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degrees in the fire room. i don't know if that's true either. but that's what they said. so it was so hot down there, they couldn't even touch their feet to the floor. that's just rumors. that's not fact. >> well, julie, we're glad we're speaking to you. our viewers are seeing you and your friends and your family over there. you're waving to us. we have a helicopter flying over the "triumph" right now. so we not only heard you, julie, we saw you. and i hope your family and your loved ones are watching you as well. you'll be off that vessel in the next several hours. and we'll look forward to catching up with you once you're on shore. julie hair, thanks so much. >> thank you. have a good day. >> thank you. you're going to have a much better day once you're off that boat. >> no kidding. >> we're going to continue to watch what's going on aboard the "triumph" as it slowly makes its way to port. there's other important news we're watching as well, including the confirmation, or shall we say, non-confirmation, at least on this day, of chuck hagel to be the nation's defense secretary. [ tissue box ] he said nasal congestion. yeah...i heard him.
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wear going to be speaking with more passengers aboard the carnival "triumph" as it makes its way to mobile, alabama. you're looking at live pictures from our helicopter, flying overhead. much more on this story coming up. but there's other news we're following. as we talk about the cruise industry, also news in the airline industry. airline passengers soon will have even fewer options to choose from. another merger announced today. big news. american airlines and us airways are joining forces in an $11 billion deal. a decade ago, there were ten major airlines in this country. soon there will be only four, if you can believe it. here's cnn's alison kosik. >> hi, wolf and kate. what everybody wants to know is, will fares go up? american and us airways say no. and most analysts agree. one reason to believe fares will stay in check is there's very little overlap in routes between the two airlines. and you can see that on the map here. there aren't any shared hubs and they have very few individual routes in common. heads of the two airlines told
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cnn there will be just as many flights available, so no reason to believe there will be an increase in prices. and i know it may be hard to believe, but if you look at fares, industry wide, they're actually up less than 2% per year since 2004. and that's less than inflation. and despite a bunch of mega mergers that have been happening in the industry. as for anyone who's enrolled in the frequent flyer programs of the two airlines, one analyst told cnn money, it's probably a good idea to use your miles now to get the most value out of them, because historically, it becomes tougher to book reward flights and after the emergency merger, the value of those may change and flights will cost you more miles. you won't lose miles, but some of the benefits of the combined frequent flyer program are likely to change. here's an example. us airways dividend miles members can currently use reward miles for flights on united. they'll use that benefit when they become american advantage members after the merger. and remember, this merger isn't
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going to be happening overnight. it more likely is going to take a couple of years for everything to combine. meantime, passengers can expect logistical headaches. messed up reservations, flight delays, lost luggage, especially right after the computer systems are combined. proof of that, in the first month that united and continental operated as a combined airline, passenger complaints almost tripled from the year before, so get ready for a little turbulence. wolf, kate? >> get ready is right. thank you, allison. >> are you ready for a little turbulence? >> i'm never ready for turbulence, but i think we'll make it through this merger. >> we'll make it through this one. we're also standing by, getting new information. a bad day for the president of the united states and the man he wants to be the next secretary of defense, chuck hagel. what happened in the united states senate, we'll update you on that. also, our top story, that cruise ship, making its way slowly to port right now. you're looking at live pictures from our helicopter flying overhead. t us? oh no, i... just used my geico app to get a tow truck. it's gonna be 30 minutes.
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we're continuing to watch the carnival "triumph" make its way to port in mobile, alabama. they're still about, i'm guessing, four hours or so. some time between 10:00 p.m. eastern, midnight eastern, it's supposed to land in mobile, alabama. these are live, exclusive pictures from our helicopter, our cnn helicopter, flying overhead right now. you see some folks just waiting it out on a chair there, and just relaxing a little bit. but others are anxious. their cell phones seem to be working as they get closer and closer. you see a lot of people out there. >> and look -- >> what is that, kate? >> it looks like a heart for valentine's day, wolf. >> that's what it is. >> when you have nothing to do and you're waiting around, get a little creative. >> make a heart. we have much more. we'll be speaking to some of those passengers. you see those passengers waving
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at us. i think we'll be speaking with some of them very, very soon. stand by for that. but i want to get to some other important news here in washington. democrats were unable to break the filibuster of the former republican colleague that they had, chuck hagel, for defense secretary. it looks like it will be another week or so before the senate takes up the controversial nomination once again. our chief congressional correspondent, dana bash, is up on capitol hill. dana, not a good day for the president or the man he wants to be the next defense secretary. >> reporter: not at all. there was some last-minute lobbying by the vice president, wolf, i'm told he made some calls to republican senators, but at the end of the day, he could not convince him of what the president said just a short while ago, that he needs his defense secretary at a time of war. >> on this vote, the yays are 58, the nays are 40. >> reporter: it was a moment for the history books. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> reporter: chuck hagel fell short of the 50 votes needed to
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break a filibuster of his nomination to be defense secretary. only four republicans supported their former senate gop colleague. >> the filibuster of senator hagel's confirmation is unprecedented. i repeat, not a single nominee for secretary of defense, ever in the history of our country has been filibustered. never, ever. >> reporter: republicans argued they need more time, saying hagel is too controversial to be confirmed, only days after getting through committee on a party line vote. >> the president has a right to appoint people in whom he has confidence, but we have a constitutional responsibility to consider the nominee. a number of the republican senators have questions. >> reporter: but democrats see it another way. that republicans are dragging their feet on hagel in order to look for more information to bring him down. >> let's not hide behind a filibuster. let's have the courage. vote yes or vote no. don't hide behind parliamentary tricks. >> reporter: the white house knew from day one hagel's
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confirmation would not be easy. controversial statements on israel, jews and gays as well as his position on iran and iraq put him in the crosshairs of senators on both sides of the aisle, but mostly fellow republicans. and a widely panned performance at his confirmation hearing, even by democrats, didn't help. >> i, um, misspoke and said i supported the president's position on containment. >> reporter: but only in the last 48 hours did it become clear that hagel did not have the votes to overcome a filibuster this week. >> senators have the right to have those questions answered. >> reporter: mostly because a handful of gop senators, who had said they would not block hagel, including john mccain, reversed themselves, deciding to go along with the majority of republicans, demanding next week's senate recess to study the nomination and ask more questions. >> i think that during the break, it's sufficient time to get any additional questions answered, and i will vote in
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favor of cloture on the day we get back and i believe my colleagues would also -- enough of my colleagues would do the same. >> reporter: now, another vote to stop this filibuster is already on the schedule. it will be a little under two weeks from now, when the senate returns from a week-long break, back in their states. several republican senators i spoke to earlier today, wolf, said that they were going to vote no today, but they would vote yesterday after they have that time to study hagel's record and to ask more questions. if that is true, hagel should be confirmed, eventually, but after a very, very bumpy road at the hands, again, of his former colleagues here in the senate. >> it's an amazing story that's going on. dana, thanks very much. >> i want to go back live to the major story we've been watching all afternoon. the carnival "triumph" inching, limping its way into port in mobile, alabama. we have another passenger calling in. robin chandler. robin, can you hear me? >> yes, i can! >> how are things for you?
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>> caller: i'm really ready to get off of this ship. things have not been, you know, as bad as some people have had. we were on deck seven in a suite, so we've had a balcony for the trip. so, you know, we've obviously had no power, no toilets, we were able to shower and, you know, wash up in our cabin. but it's been a true nightmare for me. this is my first cruise and i will probably not do another one. >> i'm told that this was a birthday surprise, taking you on this first cruise. quite a surprise. >> caller: it was a surprise. my 50th birthday surprise and my birthday was saturday, february the 9th, and on sunday morning, we were awakened to this tragedy. and it was good up until then, as you can only imagine.
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>> you're on the cruise with your husband, james. what have you been doing to pass the time? >> caller: playing cards, reading, and just really trying to focus on getting off of being on this ship. i am a strong believer in god almighty and know he's the one that's getting us off of the ship. and so just been doing a lot of, you know, reflection and praying and just trying to make the best out of it. >> yeah, and real quick, robin. what are you going to do as soon as you get off this ship, late this evening? >> caller: i'm going to take a warm shower and hopefully get a decent hot meal. >> sounds like a good idea. well, take care. thank you so much for calling in and good luck to you and your husband and happy birthday. if that even helps at this point. robin chandler, thanks so much. >> we've got somebody else who's on board. another cruise passenger. reagan meredith, who's joining us on the phone right now. thanks very much.
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first of all, how are you doing? >> caller: i'm doing okay. passing the time as best i can. >> you're almost -- you're almost there. i know you sent us some photos, reagan. i'm going to put some of them up on the screen. a wide shot, showing the outside deck, of this vessel. people outside using sheets to shield from the sun. what's it been like over these past few days? >> caller: it's been pretty rough. we had to move out of our room on sunday due to flooding and overflow, and the first night we didn't know how long we were going to be out here, so we didn't built a tent and that night was pretty miserable due to the wind, so the next night we got some rope and that was a way to pass the time, building a nice shelter out here, helping others to secure rope and putting up their sheets. it was an adventure, to say the least. >> i know you've made some makeshift beds from those lounge chairs out there. we just heard robin chandler say people are playing cards to help
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the time go by. i assume you've been doing the same thing? >> caller: a little bit of cards and walking around and helping out anyone else we can. we have a rather large group with us, so we've banded together and tried to help out as many people as we can. help to get people food and help do anything to pass the full-time. >> and you've been like so many others, anxious to get your cell phones, your iphones, your blackberries charged. how's that working out? you're on the phone with us now. >> caller: well, my phone is about to die again. the charging stations, someone figured out if you unplug the atm, those outlets are still working, and luckily passengers had brought power strips with them and so we had about seven hooked up at one time, and there were 40 or 50 phones being charged at the same time. and luckily, one person would always step up and organize it, to make sure that it wasn't just chaos down there. and so we're all very thankful for that. >> do you think this is your last cruise? >> caller: for a long time, yes. >> i don't blame you. all right, reagan meredith, good
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luck to you, your friends out there. and it's only a few more hours and then you'll be able to take that shower, have a good hot meal, and head home. where is home, by the way? >> caller: back in san antonio, texas. >> all right. good. you're not going to be too far away. good luck. >> caller: no, sir. >> good luck. >> caller: thank you very much. >> look at that sunset. >> a beautiful sun going down. >> a lot of work ahead for everyone trying to get everyone off that ship. >> amazing shots we're getting from our helicopter camera that's flying over the "triumph" right now. after all of this, you can't help but wonder if taking a cruise is a good idea. we'll talk to two industry experts plus our own dr. sanjay gupta on the health conditions on board. [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health
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we're joined now by two experts on the cruise industry. you're looking at these live pictures of the "triumph" as it slowly makes its way to port in mobile, alabama. these are exclusive pictures from our helicopter flying overhead. ross klein has published four books on the subject, has a website, cruisejunkie.com. stewart sheron is ceo of thecruiseguy.com. guys, thanks very much for coming in. kate is here as well. ross, how common -- i mean, we've heard horror stories coming from some of these passengers over the past few days. how common is this? >> well, i wouldn't say that it's common, but i wouldn't say that it's uncommon. there's probably an average of about four ships a year where there's crippling fires, where ships have difficulties. and probably on average, about ten ships a year that have disabling problems in terms of
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propulsion. so in the grand scheme of things, in the number of ships that are out there, it isn't a huge number, so the chances of it happening to an individual are certainly somewhat scarce. but it's frequent enough that we know that they happen and it's not unheard of. >> stewart, how do you think carnival is handling this crisis? >> well, i mean, considering we've gotten much more information out of them on this incident than we've had on in, so you can definitely see a pattern that they've actually learned a lot from the last time, when this occurred, on the carnival "splendor," i mean, we understand what's going on. teams have been mobilized a lot faster. their reaction to passenger needs has been much greater. and, you know, they've done everything humanly possible under the circumstances to make them as comfortable as possible. and also due the best that they can to get them ashore as fast as possible, because getting them to mexico would have created a logistical nightmare, considering 900 passengers didn't have their passports and trying to -- logistically trying
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to get people back to the united states would have been a nightmare. >> we're continuing to look at the live pictures of the carnival "triumph" making its way to port. ross, what should carnival or can carnival do in the future to better prepare for an emergency situation like this? >> well, i think they're prepared for emergencies when they happen near shore. i think where they're not prepared and where the industry needs to give some very careful thought to is how to deal with these accidents when they happen, when ships are at sea. this certainly would be an example. it took four days before people are brought back to port. similarly, the "costa allegra," it lost power after an engine fire not even a year ago in the indian ocean and was adrift for several days. i think what the industry needs to be thinking about is how are they going to address these problems, when they happen at a distance, in order to try to minimize the inconvenience to
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passengers, and certainly the difficulties that we've seen on this ship. >> and stewart, do you think carnival will make these changes or make some changes going forward? >> reporter: well, they're always making changes, but let's keep in mind that three other cruise ships, carnival "legend," carnival "elation" and "conquest" have been dispatched to the area. tons of food and supplies have been transferred from ship to ship in some pretty awful weather, including rough seas and 30-knot winds in order to try to make this as easy as possible, which is exactly why they were unable to move the passengers from one ship to another. so, i mean, you could definitely see that lessons have been learned, improvements have been made. and every conceivable option has been undertaken to ensure that these passengers are taken care of. no one's minimizing the suffers that's been going on, but they are doing a very good job in trying to expedite their return home. >> and we should say that depending on the passengers we've spoken to that are on board, they definitely do compliment the crew on board,
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saying they are doing the best they can. but definitely there are lessons to be learned when something like this happens. stewart sheron and ross klein, thanks so much for your help. >> we'll have much more on the crippled "triumph" coming in. our own dr. sanjay gupta will join us live and we'll talk about the health conditions on board. ♪ constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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taking a look live at the carnival "triumph," inching its way towards the port in mobile, alabama. you're seeing exclusive live pictures from our helicopter, that's been watching this ship inch its way, inch its way, through the gulf of mexico, and now into the port in mobile, alabama. we're staying close to this story, obviously. and when you hear passengers talk about raw sewage
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everywhere, you can't help but wonder about the health risks potentially for people on board that ship. so let's bring in our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. i know people have a lot of questions about this, sanjay, because it's such an unusual circumstance. do you have any concerns about health risks on this ship? >> you know, i get a little bit of good news here. i don't have significant concerns about health risks. that may surprise a lot of people, given just how disgusting the conditions have been described, not hygienic, obviously, not sanitary, but there are basic things you want to look for. certainly, is there enough water? is there refrigeration for medications, for example? food, and you know, what we're hearing is that those things have been made available. there are medical personnel, i was talking to one of the passengers earlier. they say that medical personnel has been wandering around the ship. there's an infirmary. that's obviously all important. people that are going to be at risk, obviously, kate, as you might guess, are people who have already had some underlying
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medical conditions. we've heard about patients that have needed to be taken off the ship because of those kind of things. but for the most part, you always talk about the possible outbreak of infectious diseases. but thankfully, we hardly ever see them. we didn't see them after katrina, for example. my guess is we won't see them here. >> we're also seeing some of the pictures that passengers are sending into us of the condition on board the ship. sanjay, we've heard from one mother who said she was going down to mobile to meet her daughter at the dock and was brings antibiotics with her. do you think that's necessary? i'm guessing not, at this point. >> no, i don't. and you know, let me say, i understand the sentiment. look, if i had a family member on the ship, i would try and do anything i could to try and help and maybe that's where this is coming from as well, but, again, keep in mind, there is an infirmary on the ship and if antibiotics were necessary, they may have already been given. but also, you know, you don't want to give these medications prophylactically. they can, in fact, make people sick and they can create an
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antibiotic resistance in the community. so that's no small problem. so i just don't think that that's necessary. >> when these poor folks get off the ship, the first thing we hear they're looking for is a warm shower and a warm meal. >> you can see lights, all of a sudden you see some lights over there on the ship. >> they did get a generator, so they're working with limited power. >> we know people are charging their cell phones too. which is good news. they're only a few hours away from arriving in the port of mobile. exclusive pictures coming in from our cnn helicopter flying overhead. we'll keep on top of this story. we'll be right back. if your tires need to be rotated, you have to get that done as well. jackie, tell me why somebody should bring they're car here to the ford dealership for service instead of any one of those other places out there. they are going to take care of my car because this is where it came from. price is right no problem, they make you feel like you're a family. get a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation and much more, $29.95 after $10.00 rebate. if you take care of your car your car will take care of you.
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the san bernardino county sheriff's office has just announced the charred human remains located in the burn pd out cabin in seven oaks have been positively identified to be that of christopher dorner. let's get the story from cnn's miguel marquez. he's in los angeles. he's been covering it from the beginning. case closed, i guess, right, miguel? >> reporter: well, sort of, wolf. case is closed, at least on that aspect of it. the sheriff's department confirmed that they are christopher dorner's. they did that by dental records. but there are many, many questions into the investigation and the search for dorner. jim and karen reynolds did what investigators couldn't. they found christopher dorner. >> he talked about how he could see jim working on the snow every day. >> he'd been watching us shoveling the snow, and that was friday. >> reporter: that very afternoon, last friday, a
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full-blown news conference, so close to the condo dorner was in, he could watch, armed with assault weapons, he could have killed on national television. >> a lot of us all pretty much had the feeling that he was still in the area. there are so many vacant houses up here that he could really be anywhere. >> reporter: san bernardino sheriff's office said it searched hundreds of empty cabins, but never confirmed they were actually empty. several law enforcement agencies told cnn they offered resources to san bernardino, but were told thanks, but no thanks. law enforcement officials say in the hours after dorner abandoned and burned his truck, the area should have been flooded with officers, 500 to 1,000, necessary to search so many homes in an area so wide. >> i was a little bit surprised last thursday that when the sheriff's office indicated that they had maybe 125, 500 officers, given that they had such a large mountainous area.
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>> chief of riverside police, detectives from his department didn't arrive in big bear until monday, the day before dorner was discovered. did you offer anything on thursday? >> i don't know. i really don't recall whether -- what every conversation might have occurred between our people and san bernardino. >> reporter: but it wasn't until monday that you actually got boots on the ground or shoes on the ground? >> we had a couple of detectives following up, yeah. >> reporter: on monday? >> on monday. >> reporter: the san bernardino sheriff and his office have only said the area was searched and the condo in question had not been rented since february 6th. two, maybe three days before dorner moved in, he tied up the rentals when they discovered him on tuesday, but they managed to call 911 minutes after he left. >> we're very happy to be alive and that the rest of our family is safe. >> reporter: lucky to be alive, going back to that condo. never the same. >> just get a feeling, emotion sometimes just comes over me, i
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look at that unit and think about going back in. >> reporter: two ordinary people caught up in a life-or-death situation. did it ever have to happen? now, we asked, e-mailed, and called san bernardino sheriff's department for more comment on this story. so far, they have said nothing. wolf? guys, back to you. >> all right, miguel. thanks very much. kate? still ahead, an asteroid half the size of a football field. you won't believe how close it's going to come to the earth in less than 24 hours. and yes, we're still watching the carnival "triumph" inching towards port. ves business optimizers. how? by building custom security solutions that integrate video, access control, fire and intrusion protection. all backed up with world-class monitoring centers, thousands of qualified technicians, and a personal passion to help protect your business. when your business is optimized like that, there's no stopping you. we are tyco integrated security.
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less than 24 hours from now, a massive asteroid will pass very close to earth. we sent our own brian todd to nasa's jet propulsion laboratory, where they're keeping a close eye on what's going on. >> wolf, we're inside the deep space network operation center at the jet propulsion laboratory at nasa's facility in pasadena, california. it's at the jet propulsion lab, where nasa will be monitoring that asteroid. it's called 2012 da-14, because it was discovered last year. that's an artist rendering of it, but they're going to be looking at the real thing when it